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Coalition highlights impact of threatened New Markets Tax Credit program


More than 1 million new U.S. jobs were created in low-income urban neighborhoods and rural towns through the New Markets Tax Credit program between 2003 and 2015, according to a new analysis released by the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition. 

Congress reauthorized the tax credit program in December 2015 for five years. However, the tax reform bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday would repeal the 2018 and 2019 authorizations, which the coalition said would deprive communities of a key tool to promote job growth and business opportunity. 

Between 2003 and 2015, $42 billion in NMTC investments leveraged over $80 billion in total investments. Further, 72 percent of that NMTC activity was in highly distressed communities that far exceed the programmatic requirements for development in economically distressed areas. 

In Greater Des Moines, the credits have been used at Gray’s Landing, the Fourth + Court development and for Atlantic Bottling Co.’s move to Des Moines from Waukee.

“This new Treasury data shows the NMTC is a significant catalyst for job creation, creating more than 1 million jobs in some of the nation’s poorest and most distressed communities. Further, when we release our full study in December, it will also show that economic activity instigated by NMTC projects also generates enough new tax revenue to cover the cost of the program to the federal government,” said Bob Rapoza, spokesperson for the NMTC Coalition. “However, despite the reach and results of the NMTC, the future of the credit is in jeopardy.”

The Senate Finance Committee has taken an alternative approach to maintain the NMTC. In addition, two senior members of the Finance Committee filed amendments this week to make the NMTC permanent. The amendments by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., would provide similar expansion and improvements as outlined in the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2017. 

“No other federal tax incentive is generally available to economically distressed rural and urban communities to promote economic revitalization,” Rapoza said. “The NMTC is a very good deal in terms of federal investments.”

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